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Visita Iglesia and Alay Lakad Tips

Visita Iglesia is a religious tradition for Catholic Filipinos to visit several churches during the Holy Week. (Photos by John Ray Ramos)
Visita Iglesia is a religious tradition for Catholic Filipinos to visit several churches during the Holy Week. (Photos by John Ray Ramos)

This Holy Week, many Filipino Catholics would attend religious activities like processions, pilgrimages, and Visita Iglesia. Here are some tips on how to have a hassle-free and safe pilgrimage for everyone to have a reflection-filled and meaningful Holy Week.

Don’t bring valuables. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry and bringing unnecessary gadgets like laptop and tablet computers. Aside from preventing theft, remember that you are traveling for devotion. It may be wise to disconnect from Facebook and the Internet for a time to reflect and connect with God and with your loved ones.

Travel light. Bring only necessary items like bottled water, some cash, your (fully charged) mobile phone, extra shirt, hand towel, and your prescribed medications.

Protect yourself from the heat and other elements. Bring water and keep yourself hydrated. Wear a hat and bring an umbrella and use it as shelter from the sun and rain. Apply some sunblock if going out under the sun.

Wear comfortable clothing. Wear comfortable footwear like sandals, slippers, and rubber shoes. Don’t forget to bring extra clothes and hand towels.

Be mindful of your things. Check your stuff once in a while. One can never tell if wolves are mixing with a flock of sheep. Keep a watchful eye always.

If traveling in groups, write down or keep the contact numbers of your companions. Also, designate meet-up locations just in case anyone gets lost or separated from the group.

Travel with a companion. If traveling to hot and crowded places, it is better to bring along a companion. If not necessary, avoid bringing along children but leave them in the care of relatives at home.

Notify your family or loved ones your itinerary or the locations you would be visiting. This is for them to have an idea where you are going and a reference on where to look for you in case of emergency.

Bring a mobile phone despite the invitation to disconnect for reflection. You can never tell if an emergency will happen to you or at home. Turn it to silent mode so as not to disturb your pilgrimage. Keep it fully charged and with prepaid load.

Don’t proceed if you are not feeling well. Watch out for your health. If you are sick or not feeling well, it is better to postpone your activity and rest at home. You can always pray and reflect at home and spend a meaningful Holy Week with your family and loved ones.